Thursday, May 21, 2009

Somebody else's baby...

I went to the cemetery today. I hadn't been for awhile. I wanted to go on Mother's Day and didn't make it and haven't been since. I am planning on taking the kids on Memorial Day, and wanted to go then as I had heard they do a beautiful job with US flags.. and they do! The picture above is not the cemetery where Seth is but a very similar thing has been done with the flags and they are flying everywhere.

So I had a counseling appointment this morning and afterwards I stopped at the store, picked up a potted mini rose bush and headed to the cemetery. Grief is a funny thing, I'm finding. One of the many "side effects" is that it seems to be isolating and somewhat self-indulgent. Let me explain what I mean, or at least attempt it. I find myself more frequently in situations that have nothing to do with Seth or our loss of Seth. Of course, I do, time marches on. And on one hand, I embrace that. And on the other hand, it can be SO so hard as I still feel like my heart is broken into pieces and I"m trying to put on a "happy face" and move forward. I have been lately wondering if I hadn't made it too much about "me". If I'd taken my focus off God and become all wrapped up in my grief. If I was too consumed with MY stuff.. MY loss, MY hurting, my inability to REALLY cry as when I feel like I need to or want to, I'm too surrounded by children to be able to do so.

So I took the yellow mini rose bush to Seth's marker. And immediately recognized the outdoor carpeting on the grass.. I didn't stay long because of the tent being assembled mere feet from where Seth's body lies. Today, somebody else's baby is being buried. I drove home, overcome with compassion. I stumbled in the door, threw myself down on my bed and cried. You know, "the ugly cry".

I don't know if I can explain what that meant to me. Or if it will make sense to anyone who hasn't been through this type of loss. Or if it will make sense to others who have. But I was almost relieved to experience that type of reaction FOR somebody else. It truly wasn't about MY loss or Seth.. but the fact that out there, so close to our home, another mom is hurting, experiencing a loss no mom should have to endure. In this fallen, broken world, I was SO grateful for the opportunity to experience that kind of compassion and to intercede for that mom, asking God to bring her peace and comfort.

God is so faithful to keep showing me that if I can only trust in Him, He WILL bring me through this - triumphantly so. I can be a better witness for Christ, a better servant of the Lord and THAT is what I am MOST grateful for after all!


Kathryn said...

You are so sweet, & God is working so fully in you.

My grief is of a different kind, but i also find it isolating. And it is easy to fall into the "my loss, my sorrow." I think that is a very human & very normal way to be. And because it is, i think it is very easy for it to be twisted (by Satan?) into something more selfish than unadulterated grief is.

However, the fact that you have so much compassion for another mother suffering (& i'm sure you are also able to share the joy of others' joys) indicates your grief is not of the twisted sort. My opinion.

Hugs to you as you make your way thru this. :)

Lauren said...

I KNOW the ugly cry. Oh, do I know it.

I am so proud of you--someday you will have a ministry in this.

You know, what if you did 200 days of caring for a family who lost a child too? Like for two hundred days, you send them a card once a week or something? People tend to forget after a couple of weeks....

just thinking out loud.

Lynda said...

Tears are streaming down my face. I recognize those kind of cries and emotions not only for myself but for others experiencing this kind of a loss. Babies SHOULDNT die! God bless you for having so much compassion for others. Being emotional (as I've been called) is a GOOD thing, IMO.

Steph said...

I can so relate to your experience! My good friend has a baby the same age as Brielle, and she was diagnosed with cancer at 7 months. She's finished her chemo, but not in remission, and had surgery to take out the tumor today. They have to wait and see now. And a relative just lost a less than week old baby recently. When I heard about both of these families, my heart broke for them. I know I can feel for them so much more deeply that I could have before. I hope I'm able to offer something more to them than I could have before. . . But at the very least, I know my capacity to feel for others is much greater now. And as much suffering has come in gaining this capacity, I know it is a blessing--that I am a better, more Christ-like person because of it.

Sigh. . . you do wish no one else had to go through this, though.

Cathey said...

Oh, Steph has hit the nail on the head. All the pain we go through helps transform us into the image of Christ. We are never the same, we are changed....but we are better and more like Him. While I found losing a child to be devastating, agonizing, and a million other words for painful, I now have a glimpse of God that I could not have had any other way. And the compassion I feel for the pain of others has made me more useful in His Kingdom. I am blessed and thankful.